HomeNewsLaw Excludes Persons From 0.05% Cybercrime Levy, Says Falana SAN

Law Excludes Persons From 0.05% Cybercrime Levy, Says Falana SAN

Human Rights Advocate, Femi Falana, SAN, has slammed the Central Bank of Nigeria for misinterpreting the provisions of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024.

He said personal bank customers were not required by law to pay the 0.05% levy.

In a release on Thursday, Falana noted that the Cybercrime Act 2025 as amended listed businesses to pay the levy as including:

a. GSM Service providers and all telecommunications companies;

b. Internet Service Providers;

c. Banks and other Financial Institutions;

d. Insurance Companies; and

e. Nigerian Stock Exchange.

He wrote: “Pursuant to the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention etc) Act 2015 amended in 2024, a levy amounting to 0.5 per cent of the value of all electronic transactions shall be collected and remitted to the National Cybersecurity Fund overseen by the Office of the National Security Adviser.

“Even though the said levy of 00.05 per cent is payable by the businesses listed in the second schedule to the principal Act, the Central Bank of Nigeria has wrongly directed all financial institutions to apply the levy at the point of electronic transfer origination and that the amount is to be explicitly noted in customer accounts under the description “Cybersecurity Levy” and remitted by the financial institution.

“The circular issued by the Central Bank has given the very erroneous impression that the levy is payable by individual customers.

“The erroneous interpretation might have arisen from the substitution of “businesses” for “business” in the amendment. For the avoidance of doubt, by virtue of section 42(a) of the Cybercrime Act 2025 as amended, the businesses which are required to pay the levy are:

a. GSM Service providers and all telecommunications companies;

b. Internet Service Providers;

c. Banks and other Financial Institutions;

d. Insurance Companies;

e. Nigerian Stock Exchange.

“In view of the foregoing, the Central Bank of Nigeria should be directed to withdraw its Circular of 6th of May, 2024 forthwith as it has wrongly interpreted the provisions of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024. The CBN should also apologise to Nigerians for the misleading interpretation of the clear and unambiguous provisions of the Cybercrime (Prohibition, Prevention, etc.) Amendment Act 2024.”

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